Wisconsin’s first legal all-hemp store opened in late April. Now, PriceLand Hemp in Black River Falls is weeks away from harvesting its first hemp crop grown on site.
When Joel Peterson opened PriceLand Hemp, his vision was not only to work with local hemp farmers but to grow some of his own. Less than one year after a state law created a pilot program for growing and processing industrial hemp, his vision has become a reality.
"These plants will flower for about another three to four weeks, and then that will be the end of their lifespan," Peterson said.
PriceLand Hemp is located on Main Street in downtown Black River Falls. Joel Peterson, and his partner, Danyal Durman, are certified to cultivate industrial hemp.
"Being the pioneer here in Wisconsin, we want to lead and make sure that everybody follows all of the rules and produces good products," said Peterson.
Hemp is grown from the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike marijuana, it is high in CBD with only trace amounts of THC. It is the THC that gives marijuana users a high.
The first hemp crop at PriceLand Hemp is approximately nine weeks old and will produce between 50 and 60 lbs. of hemp product.
"The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Trade, they’ll come out and do all of the testing," said Peterson. "Then, once they make it fit for commerce, we can sell it onto laboratories for processing."
The THC is removed in processing. PriceLand Hemp aims to educate customers about the potential benefits of the CBD oil left behind.
"Just clarifying everything to make sure people don’t have any questions, but if they have questions, they can call us," said Durman.
Peterson estimates hemp products from the first on-site crop could hit the store’s shelves in as little as two weeks.
"I’m going to be very excited to introduce our grown product and say, ‘Hey. This is extracted. We grew this,’" he said. "Yeah, that’s going to be a proud moment."
PriceLand Hemp continues to strive to provide high quality hemp products to customers from beginning to end.
Peterson says he is working with local farmers to grow hemp. He says the first season has brought with it a number of bumps in the road. He recognizes there is a learning curve, and with the success of his first hemp crop, Peterson looks forward to building two more grow rooms. In the future, he plans to refine his process by adding a propagation system.
The hemp grown at PriceLand Hemp has genes used in other pilot programs. The success of those plants caused Peterson to choose it as the base for his crop.
Although Peterson says Wisconsin is new to the industrial hemp industry, he estimates the statewide crop from this year could yield more than $10 million.